Evangelical body publishes resources pack to help Christian voters in upcoming European Parliament elections

By Chris Eyte |
European Parliament Zelensky Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a speech at the European Parliament in the presence of all MEPs and parliamentary leaders at European Parliament on February 09, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. | Omar Havana/Getty Images

The European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) has published a helpful resource pack for Christian voters for the forthcoming European Parliament elections, held from June 6 to 9. 

Elections for the 720 parliamentary seats involve citizens from all 27 European Union (EU) member countries voting on which people should represent them as members of the European Parliament (MEPs). 

These politicians make decisions on various aspects of daily life for 450 million citizens, such as jobs, migration and asylum seekers, and the environment, according to the EEA and an EU election website. The votes are cast every five years, with the last election held in May 2019. 

The EEA, a body representing 23 million European evangelicals from 35 countries, designed the resources pack to inspire individual believers, local churches and national evangelical alliances on the continent to pray, think, ask questions, and encourage others to do the same. 

In a press release, the EEA pointed out that the word ‘politics’ is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘polis’ (πόλις), meaning the affairs of a city. The EEA statement said that voters may feel they have little influence over the ‘affairs of the city’ but “let’s hold on to what we can do.”  

The resources pack looks at why the elections matter for Christian voters, covering subjects such as using Biblical lenses, hope in stormy political times, and praying for elections. 

Arie de Pater, the EEA’s Brussels Representative, reminds voters that the European Parliament stands as the only EU political body directly elected by citizens of EU member states. 

“For us as the EEA, it is important that Europe’s more than 20 million evangelicals are represented in the parliament,” de Pater told Christian Daily International. “That’s why the EEA calls on all evangelicals to cast their vote in the European elections.” 

“If we opt out, then others will carry on doing the shaping almost certainly in ways we don’t like.”

Arie de Pater at European Parliament
Arie de Pater (left) speaking at the European Parliament. | Human Rights Without Frontiers

De Pater said the election resource pack contained helpful materials for Christian voters. It includes an explanation of the importance of politics and the role of the European Parliament, “but also questions to consider in preparation of the elections”, and prayer points.

“The EEA observes that there is not a single party or candidate that fully represents all your ideas, opinions, and priorities,” added de Pater. 

“Therefore, any vote is always a very personal compromise. It is good to keep that in mind when discussing politics with other believers. Listen, respectfully ask, try to understand rather than to judge and condemn. But in the end, you might have to agree to disagree.”

The resource pack has been carefully created to respect the freedom of choice for voters. “It won’t tell you what party or what candidate to vote for,” De Pater emphasized. “The alliance is a staunch defender of the separation between church and state. But we hope that the questions to consider will help evangelicals to make up their minds.”

Questions explored in the election resources pack are divided into six clusters, according to de Pater. These comprise three on Biblical truths, and three on Biblical values. Truths discussed are who God is and who we are, the fall of Adam and Eve, and final restoration. Values explored are love, justice, and freedom.  

“We are all created in the image of God and all life is precious in His eyes,” said de Pater. “But we live in a fallen world with our shortcomings and fears. In the midst of all related turmoil, our ultimate hope is not in politics and any politician.”

“Our hope is in God, in His love and mercy, and His eternal wisdom. As His disciples, we are called to spread this hope, daily to those around us, but also when we vote.”

In February, Roberta Metsola, the current President of the European Parliament, said in a public statement that more people voting would help to make democracy stronger in Europe. 

She emphasized the importance of the parliament’s legislative work and MEPs delivering on “these files”, so that citizens “can see the difference that Europe makes, and the progress we can achieve, when we work together.”

“We need to show that this parliament works until the last moment,” said Metsola. “And I am confident that we will do that, and I am confident that people will return this House stronger.” 

The European Parliament is one of three main political bodies in the EU, alongside the European Council and European Commission. Previous topical debates by the MEPs include joint responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine War, according to the EEA. 

The parliament has no direct authority on healthcare, family issues and education but nonetheless has adopted positions on marriage, the definition of families and women’s rights, all of which are issues that many evangelicals care about deeply. The EEA points out that these political positions can influence the European Commission and the governments of European countries.